for this game

Zambrano, Mabry lead Cubs past Reds

Sep 24, 2006 - 1:30 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Using both his arm and bat, Carlos Zambrano dealt another blow to the Cincinnati Reds' postseason hopes.

Zambrano pitched seven effective innings and homered, and John Mabry drove in a season-high three runs as the Chicago Cubs ended their three-game skid with an 11-4 triumph over the sinking Reds.

With its fifth loss in six games, Cincinnati fell six games behind Philadelphia in the National League wild card chase.

Zambrano (16-6) allowed four runs and six hits and struck out seven in winning consecutive starts for the first time since late July. The 6-5 Venezuelan tied a franchise record for homers by a pitcher when he launched his sixth blast in the fourth. Ferguson Jenkins hit six in 1971.

"I don't try to hit home runs," Zambrano said. "Our hitting coach told me to just make contact. I was sitting on a changeup. If he would have thrown me a fastball he would have struck me out. I was lucky he (Reds starter Kyle Lohse) threw the pitch I was waiting for."

Mabry lofted a sacrifice fly in the third that gave Chicago a 5-4 lead. The 35-year-old delivered a two-run single during a five-run fourth inning that broke open the game.

"It was big that we scored after they came back to tie after they took the lead," Chicago manager Dusty Baker said.

"Any time you face the better pitchers you've got to play really well in all areas," Cincinnati manager Jerry Narron said. "It was pretty obvious we didn't do that. To score and give them right back was pretty disappointing."

Speedy Juan Pierre doubled twice and Aramis Ramirez notched his 36th homer in the first for the Cubs, who won their 63rd game, avoiding the stigma of a 100-loss season.

"It was good to get that 63rd win," Baker said.

Lohse (2-5) allowed five runs and seven hits in three frames to fall to 1-5 in his last six starts.

"It was just kind of a weird night," Lohse said. "I've got no excuses. I didn't get it done. It was ugly all-around. On nights like this, the pitcher's got to pick us up. We scored four runs, and I turned around and gave them right back. It was my fault."

Brandon Phillips hit his 17th homer for the Reds, who committed a season-worst six errors. It was the most since April 5, 1971 against Atlanta.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!